Monday, November 19, 2007

It happened yet again...

Occasionally, Steve preaches a sermon that God must hear and immediately say, "Okay, walk your talk."

Yesterday, November 19, 2007, the Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, he spoke from the lectionary text, Luke 21:5-19 and preached a sermon entitled “No Worries?” The gist of it was that in this world we will have worries, but that one way of standing firm against them is to find things to be thankful for.

Steve always gets up way before me on Sunday mornings, and wakes me with a kiss and the flutter of the pages his finished sermon, dropped on the comforter. Now yesterday, because the annual VCC Thanksgiving Dinner was occuring after worship, and we were bringing a turkey, he got up a half-hour earlier than usual, at 4:30 am, to pop it in the oven.

Things were proceeding smoothly, as usual-- kiss, sermon, showers, breakfast along with the delicious aroma of roasting turkey--when suddenly there was a POP! a crackling, a continuous blue strobe of light, a fireworks display of sparks shooting out the sides of the oven door, with flames dancing within, and the overpowering smell of ozone. Our electric oven's element had decided to die at that very moment, in a spectacular self-immolation scene worthy of a Wagnerian opera!

I scrambled for the baking soda but Steve had already jumped out the door and had turned off the power before my ministrations were possible. The bird still had another hour to go! His sermon seemed to mock me:

"Going on in Luke 12 we find the Lord telling His disciples “do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body what you will wear.” Three times in verses 22-31 He asks them not to worry. Consider the ravens, consider the lilies, forget your anxieties about food and clothing. Hakuna Matata!"

My immediate response was: "Grrr!!! 'Don't worry about what you will eat?' Honestly, Lord, its one thing for our family to do without but if this turkey is ruined that will mean lots of mouths will go empty this afternoon!"

But then I realized what was happening. It was another one of those chances to Practice What Was Being Preached, and my personal Screwtape was clearly proud of his morning's efforts. Honestly, it was laughable. As the smoke cleared and we peered into the depths of the inferno, we realized that just minutes before, we had covered the turkey with aluminum foil, and that it had been protected.

Thank you Lord, for that turkey.

Thank you that it was so far along, so that we could safely wrap it up and finish roasting it at church.

Thanks that it's flavor didn't suffer at all from the ozone censing.

Thanks that so many people were at the dinner who were able to enjoy it.

Thank you that our house didn't burn down.

Thank you for reinforcing the lesson about worrying, and helping me to stand firm, and even laugh at this calamity.

Now please help Steve to be able to fix our oven, and so that we won't need to buy a whole new one. (Yes, Lord, I admit it...I am worried about that hole burned in the back wall...)

Somehow I don't think it was coincidence that we sang "Day by Day and with each passing Moment" yesterday. Please help me to keep singing it today.
And tomorrow.
And the day after that.
Now and in the hour of our death.

Note to self: Check out this book: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays

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